Americans trail Chinese in social understanding

Here’s a bit of stunningly surprising news:

“People from Western cultures such as the United States are particularly challenged in their ability to understand someone else’s point of view because they are part of a culture that encourages individualism, new research at the University of Chicago shows.

In contrast, Chinese, who live in a society that encourages a collectivist attitude among its members, are much more adept at determining another person’s perspective, according to a new study.

One of the consequences of Americans’ and other Westerners’ problems of seeing things from another person’s point of view is faltering communication, said Boaz Keysar, Professor in Psychology at the University of Chicago.

‘Many actions and words have multiple meanings. In order to sort out what a person really means, we need to gain some perspective on what he or she might be thinking and, Americans for example, who don’t have that skill very well developed, probably tend to make more errors in understanding what another person means,’ Keysar said.”

I wonder how much of this lack is driving some of the unpleasantness in the Anglican Communion right now..

Read the rest here: ScienceDaily: Americans Trail Chinese In Understanding Another Person’s Perspective

Hat tip to “The Topmost Apple

Author: Nick Knisely

Episcopal bishop, dad, astronomer, erstwhile dancer...